Sept. 23, 2012
By Matt Winkeljohn
Bruce Evans is the newest member of the Georgia Tech men’s basketball staff as the director of player development, a position often held by an aspiring coach who has either recently finished college or perhaps a professional playing career.
Evans, however, knows his way around.
He’s beginning his 20th year in coaching after playing one year of pro ball in Turkey, and he’s touched quite a few rungs on the coaching ladder.
Fresh from three years as an assistant at Division I Northern Florida after serving five years as the head coach at Division II Lander University (S.C.), he’s been at this for a while. Before working at Lander, he was an assistant at Gardner-Webb, Presbyterian and his alma mater, Furman.
His relationship with Tech assistant Chad Dollar, who worked at Gardner-Webb before Evans, connected him with the Jackets after Amir Abdur-Rahim left the DPD position to become an assistant at the College of Charleston.
“For me, because I’ve been a Division II coach, I’ve been a Division II head coach, I’ve been at low mid-majors, I’ve been a mid-major assistant . . . this was the one stop that I have not experienced,” said Evans, who joined the staff last month. “I was happy being on the road recruiting and coaching, but it has been a dream of mine to be at a high major as an assistant or a coach.”
In his position, Evans, 42, is allowed by NCAA rules to be involved in recruiting on campus, and he does a lot of work in the film room, although he cannot review film with players. He also helps with the management of camps and clinics among several other duties.
“The first and foremost thing is I can’t do any on-the-court coaching or any off-campus recruiting,” he said. “My job entails acting as the liaison between basketball and compliance and academics. I make sure the kids are doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
While at Furman, where he was a player, Evans had visions of going to law school. As he drew closer to graduating in 1992, he changed his mind for various reasons. Instead, he went to Turkey and played professionally for a season.
Upon returning to the U.S., he returned to Furman and soon jumped into coaching.
In his present position, Evans will be deeply involved in helping the rest of the staff scout and prepare for opponents.
“I got into it for the relationships,” he said. “I just got an email today from a kid who I coached that wants to get into coaching. I’m an old school guy. I had talked to Chad and others about how I might have to take a step back to get to this level.
“That meant either being a basketball operations guy, or a director of player development or a special assistant . . . to learn it and hopefully do a good enough job to springboard to where I can get back to being an assistant and be on the floor and out recruiting on the road and so forth.”